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Council adds $2.5M to capital improvement plan

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In a July 26 Springfield City Council meeting dominated by talk of urban chickens, only a handful of new business items were discussed.

Among the public-hearing bills considered by council were three rezoning requests, none of which sparked debate. Votes on second-reading bills also generated little discussion, though earlier debate regarding three capital improvement projects totaling $2.5 million prompted a suggestion of added responsibilities for a citizens committee.

Capital improvements
The $2.5 million in capital improvement projects received council’s approval and led Mayor Jim O’Neal to give the Citizens Tax Oversight committee the additional oversight of the capital improvement and transportation taxes. The committee already is tasked with overseeing the three-quarter-cent Police Fire Pension Fund sales tax.

The capital improvement projects will receive additional funding in the amount of $260,000 for the Reforestation Program, $1.5 million improvements to the intersection of National Avenue and Trafficway Street, and $740,000 to make improvements on Fremont Avenue and at the Fremont and Cherokee intersection. Funding would come from the quarter-cent capital improvement sales tax reserves – which were created when revenues exceeded expectations – or through savings on construction projects.

“This is an excellent example of why we need the taxpayers’ oversight committee to be looking at the quarter-cent sales tax and the ways the money is raised, and spent, the reserves that are created or the lack thereof, maybe, in some cases,” O’Neal said.

Two of the bills, related to the National Avenue and Fremont Avenue projects, received unanimous approval from council members. The bill that adds funding for reforestation was approved 8-1, with Councilman Nicholas Ibarra dissenting.

Springfield voters renewed the quarter-cent Capital Improvements Program June 8. The program’s $23.9 million budget consists of $13 million in traditional projects, such as sidewalk repair and street repaving; $7.5 million in continuation projects, including Phase III of Packer Road’s expansion; and $3.65 million in new projects, $2 million of which is slated for storm water and flood plain acquisition.

Zoning requests
Debco Properties LLC requested a rezoning of 2.5 acres on the east side of the 1700 block of South Luster Avenue to an office district from multifamily residential. The property is primarily undeveloped, with only a storage shed on site now.

“The approval of this request will provide more opportunity for infill development of this property where public infrastructure already exists,” said Daniel Neal, senior planner for the city.

Advocates for a Healthy Community Inc., the parent company of Jordan Valley Community Health Center, asked council to rezone nearly an acre in the 500 block of North Benton Avenue to a center city district from heavy manufacturing. The proposed use is for the development of the vacant land as a 30,000-square-foot medical/dental clinic and possibly to allow for extra parking for the existing clinic.

Noble/Dearborn LLC seeks to change the planned development district at 2155 W. Chesterfield Blvd. on behalf of a new tenant. The Summit Preparatory School on June 1 moved into the 28,000-square-foot Chesterfield Village building, according to Summit office manager Cassy Berman. The building formerly housed Noble advertising agency, which consolidated operations at other
Chesterfield Village offices, and the school signed a three-year lease with Noble/Dearborn LLC in May.

The rezoning would change the building to a Planned Development District No. 334, which permits use by schools.[[In-content Ad]]


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